The goals of the Stanford Science Fellows program are:

  • To deepen our understanding of the natural world by advancing and bridging disciplines in the physical, mathematical, and life sciences.
  • To provide opportunities for exceptionally qualified early-career scientists to develop academic leadership skills focused on fostering scientific discovery, developing interdisciplinary approaches to foundational scientific research, and broadening science communication skills;
  • focused on incubating new directions in foundational scientific research by an interdisciplinary community of exceptional postdoctoral scholars from around the globe, driven by a sense of wonder about the natural world.
  • To recognize and support scholars who bring a diversity of perspectives, identities, and backgrounds, including those from groups who are underrepresented in the sciences  
  • To build community at Stanford around frontier research challenges.

Stanford Science Fellows will have access to faculty and facilities within Stanford’s Schools of Humanities and Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, and Earth, as well as at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The program will include community-building activities to foster career development and leadership skills, and workshops, seminars, informal lunches and dinners, and discussions with Stanford faculty and visitors on current topics throughout the natural sciences. Fellows will work with traditional and modern media, in small groups and one-on-one with writers and guest speakers, to  develop skills that will enable them to become more effective science educators and communicators.


Stanford Science Fellowships are intended for exceptional early career scientists with great promise who have recently been awarded their PhD (within three years of  starting fellowship, but with no more than two years of prior postdoctoral experience) or will be awarded their PhD by the start of the fellowship. Candidates are sought who intend to pursue experimental and/or theoretical research and training in any natural science discipline. Fellows will hold primary appointments in an academic unit in any participating school appropriate to their research interests.

Successful candidates will have a strong record of scientific achievement, clear intellectual drive to advance scientific understanding, and a commitment to engage collaboratively with a diverse community of scholars and transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries. Eight to ten fellows will be selected to start appointments between July 1 and September 1, 2020.

Application Process

The following application materials must be submitted online via AcademicJobsOnline by November 1, 2019. Application is open to all nationalities.

  • Curriculum Vitae (including publications, full legal name, contact information, and (expected) date of PhD, which must be received by the start of the fellowship.)
  • Three letters of recommendation; one letter from the candidate’s PhD advisor is advised.
  • A research statement (up to 2 pages) addressing the following questions:
    • What is the research problem?
    • What could be accomplished on a 3- to 5-year timescale?
    • How can Stanford enable these accomplishments?

All applications will be evaluated by a committee of Stanford faculty from departments across the natural sciences.  Each applicant is encouraged to use their research statement to identify faculty members with whom they wish to collaborate. Each fellow will participate in one or more faculty research groups. Members of the fellows selection committee will assist in establishing those relationships.  The selection process includes interviews with the most promising candidates identified by review of application materials.

Applicants will be notified of the results of the selection process between mid-December and mid-February, followed by a public announcement in the spring.

Terms of Appointment

  • Stanford Science Fellow appointments will be for a three-year term, typically beginning September 1 and ending on August 31.  However, start dates are negotiable and can be between July 1 and September 1.
  • Fellows will receive an annual stipend of $83,000, benefits, and up to $8,000 per year supplemental funds to support research and professional development.
  • Fellows will be expected to participate in the SSF program’s community-building and professional development activities.

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